2014 Corporate Responsibility Report

Employee engagement in communities

IBMers in action: Contributing time and talent to the global community

Service and volunteering have always been essential elements of what it means to be an IBMer. In addition to facilitating employee cash donations in some parts of the world, IBM supports and enables structured volunteering that leverages our industry-leading technologies and the unique expertise of one of the world’s most accomplished and sophisticated workforces.

On Demand Community: Skills-based volunteerism

With the launch of On Demand Community® in November 2003, IBM reinvented its support of employees and retirees whose volunteer work enriches the communities where we live and work. This innovative global program reflects IBM’s strategy to help the world work better, making a wide range of knowledge and expertise available to volunteers online. On Demand Community builds on award-winning IBM corporate citizenship programs and extends a long tradition of community engagement by IBMers worldwide by providing them with resources to facilitate engagement with community organizations and expand the value of volunteer efforts. Each year, nearly 270,000 active IBMers and retirees use On Demand Community to contribute their time and talent, and to find opportunities to connect with others in volunteering efforts that improve their communities. Since the program’s inception, current and retired IBMers have donated nearly 18 million volunteer hours to help bring about the positive transformation of communities around the world.


Since the program’s inception, nearly 270,000 IBMers worldwide have registered with On Demand Community and have logged nearly 18 million volunteer hours.

Volunteer Excellence awards

Each year, through the Volunteer Excellence awards, IBM recognizes those individuals or teams who best personify our culture of service. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty presents this highly competitive award to winners from among our volunteers. The award underscores our commitment to the communities in which we live and work, and recognizes volunteers whose dedication, innovation and personal commitment to service play an essential role in enabling the transformation of our nonprofit and education clients.

From governments and NGOs to communities in developing markets to children and young people just beginning to build their lives, all of our partners receive the best of our skills, expertise and technology through more than $4 million in local Community Grants each year. Three of our Volunteer Excellence award winners are highlighted below:

  • In Shanghai, En Chang (Anson) Zhou mentored fellow people with disabilities, providing them with a role model, tangible job-training skills and potential career opportunities at IBM. Two IBM Community Grants helped Anson and the Shanghai Wanbang Care and Service Center host a unique entrepreneur competition for young people with disabilities, and with a site visit to meet other IBMers with disabilities and learn about accessibility technology.
  • In India, Naveen Prathapaneni tirelessly shared his expertise, passion and commitment to make essential contributions that have included helping a foundation use technology to achieve a 25 percent increase in service delivery efficiency, leveraging IBM Community Grants to improve help-line operations supporting rural education and thousands of students, setting up science labs and digital classrooms in schools and more. Naveen also has mentored nearly 400 students — 60 percent of them female.
  • In Ireland, IBMers Niambh Scullion, Brendan Murray, Sean Callanan and Lorenzo Cipriani led an international team that is helping children and teens learn how to code. The students develop websites, apps, programs, games, and explore technology through the CoderDojo Foundation — a global network of volunteer-led programming clubs for young people. A CoderDojo mentor since the organization’s founding in 2012, Niambh also founded CoderDojoGirls to encourage more girls and young women to pursue programming. In addition to serving as volunteer mentors and growing the program throughout Ireland, the IBM team created “Start Dojo” — a process documentation protocol that simplifies establishing new clubs and has been credited for growing the number of clubs from 250 to 580 in the last year. IBM has backed the CoderDojo initiative by granting licenses of IBM Sametime® communications software to the CoderDojo Foundation and developing tutorials for the IBM Bluemix™ development platform within the Kids Code! IBM Activity Kit. The kit was accessed more than 900 times in its first week.

Employee donations and programs

IBM supports and reinforces employee contributions to charitable and nonprofit entities in their communities. Our community-level grant making — complemented with extensive and far-reaching volunteer programs — enables IBMers to contribute their skills, develop new skills, and grow as leaders as they contribute to the communities where they live and work.

Employee Charitable Contribution Campaign

In the United States and Canada, IBM’s annual Employee Charitable Contribution Campaign (ECCC) provides employees and retirees with the opportunity to contribute directly to more than 10,000 community organizations. These entities provide a wide range of services in the environmental, cultural, health and human services, literacy, and disaster relief areas, to name just a few. In 2014, our US ECCC campaign generated more than $29 million. ECCC in Canada provided approximately Can$2.3 million in contributions to Canadian charitable organizations. IBM salutes our employees’ generosity, and is proud to assist them in service to their communities.

IBM Matching Grants

The IBM Matching Grants program enables US employees and retirees to increase the value of their donations to educational institutions, hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, and cultural and environmental organizations with a matching gift from IBM. The recipient organization can choose to receive its gift in the form of either cash or IBM equipment. Hundreds of educational institutions and thousands of nonprofit organizations have benefited from contributions by IBM and our employees through this program. Recipients of IBM Matching Grants are a variety of organizations that includes the Nature Conservancy, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Educational Broadcasting Corporation, the Metropolitan Opera, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Yale University. In 2014, more than 6,400 organizations received grants with a total value of more than $11.5 million.